Monday, 30 March 2009


  • Cat hears Khmer rouge testimony
  • Tiger Woods fights back seals
  • Jacqui Smith fiddled during adult film
  • GM Chief Waggoner outed by Obama
  • Nationwide buys Dunfermline
  • G20 summit will forget the poor


Jacqui Smith's video hire expenses claim.

Sunday, 29 March 2009


  • The application of TUPE regulations to professional service contracts
  • Harriet Harman
  • the removal of Britannia from coins
  • £ slide against $
  • The disingenuous shenanigans about Fred Goodwin's pension - designed to pillory a capitalist icon in disguise of the obvious profligacy of a government that maintains two armies in wars of highly questionable legality at vast expense to the British state
  • Political correctness
  • Health and safety
  • State enlargement
  • Recent advertising encouraging citizen surveillance of suspicious terrorist - looking stuff
  • Police hassling photographers
  • More to come..........

Saturday, 28 March 2009


I go to see a friend who is dark, dangerous, clever and powerful - an almost irresistible combination to some women.
He is bored, and I promise to publish my quack remedy.
Here it is:

· Boredom is a metaphor for our own isolation.
· The only real remedy for being bored is full acceptance of what is, and full rejection of what is not.
· Pseudo remedies arise as palliatives to the pains of our own disappointments in being bored.
· Our disappointments are ultimately self directed.
· As with disappointment, so with anger, sadness, guilt and every other negative emotion.Disappointment is a failure of presence, nothing more. Boredom too.
· Filling time persuades us momentarily we are alive, but it is a temporary palliative. It is emptiness that really is persuasive of our life force.
· It is notable how many time-filling activities involve the mouth. This tells you that they are infantile drives toward nipple pleasure, the baby’s response to minor pain, neediness. Always, the filling response. Are you a baby?
· Filling time is an act based on the presumption of emptiness. But no time is empty to the person really there. And all time is empty to the person never there.
· Emptiness, fullness are points of view. Nothing more. One man’s emptiness is another’s fullness. One man’s fullness is another’s emptiness.
· There is a long standing story of the zen master whose student found just sitting and breathing boring. The Master took the student to a nearby lake. “Look in there.” He said. The student looked. “I don’t know what I am looking for” said the student. “Look closer”, said the Master. So the student looked closer, still rather mystified. “Kneel down and look” advised the Master. The student knelt at the edge of the pool but still remained puzzled. “Get down really close to the water” the master suggested. The student did so. Then the Master grabbed the student’s head and shoved it under the water, holding it there until the student was very nearly drowning. Eventually the master released him, whilst he choked and gasped for air. “Still find just sitting and breathing boring?” he asked.
· Life doesn’t have to be threatened to see its sheer ever present beauty and how every cell cries out to rejoice in it.
· Boredom is an opportunity for a repose of the ego, as much as it is a chance for frustration.
· As ego fades so disappointment and boredom fade also.
· A remedy for the mental disease of boredom is the same as for any other irksome thought: complete acceptance. Resistance is futile. With our own thoughts, the more one tries to master them, the more they master us. Stand aside, and thoughts do what thoughts will: arise, flare, subside, depart. If they are enemies to desired states of peace all the more so. The bio mechanics are evident: the bigger they come the harder they really do fall. But only if you get out of the way of their own energetic propulsion and let them propel themselves.
· I’ve heard it said that if you are bored it is because you are boring. Perhaps.
· “I am bored” is untrue. Are your feet bored? Is your pancreas? There is always a space between you and the thought. If there were not you would be your thoughts. If you are that, then you are ever vanishing or vanished as yesterday’s, last year’s thoughts are gone and lost now. If you are not that, then no need to worry about the boredom. It most certainly does not define you. At worst you are dealing with a little localised pain. Truer perhaps to say “boredom comes to visit now”.
· Stand and look at your visitor. Stop pretending there’s no one at the door.
· Some people fetishize the expression of boredom as a cue to those around them to do better, be more entertaining, please them more. It is a facile trap. These people are playing a low card trick which can’t work many times, and in any case is destined to destroy connection through its own power assumptions. Then that player will be left alone. And be more bored. So this gambit paradoxically reinvents its own problem and is self defeating.
· When a child says “I am bored” most parents rush to fill the void. This is bad education. “Be bored” is a better response.
· Boredom is also dangerous as a piece of self stimulus that suggests we are in control of life. At best this belief is headed towards yet more disappointment. At worst, megalomania.
· If you are bored you are not looking hard enough. And especially you are not looking hard enough at your own feeble attempts to control the world.
· Does all of this mean that it is easy not to be bored? In one sense it is incredibly simple. Surrender fully to the moment and you cannot be bored. But in many ways modern conditioning promotes boredom with its expectations of an ever exciting lifestyle, and an ever greater need for stimulus. It is instructive to think about who are the beneficiaries of such cultural norms. It doesn’t take long to realise that if you are bored you are very ready to be sold to. This makes ready victims of the bored. In a spare, bored moment or two, an interesting diversion to boredom is to wonder who benefits from it.
· Being against boredom, though, is like being against rain. It defies reality. Given conditioning, if it comes it comes. How can one be against that?
· What’s real, though? The boring circumstance? Or the mind’s reaction to it?
· And whose reaction is the reaction?
· Unravelling that little lot should keep the bored amused for some time.

Friday, 13 March 2009


It almost makes me proud to be British.
The British Grenadiers played by the band. The 2nd Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment, the Poachers, returned from Basra, marching through Luton. A group of orthodox Muslims with banners saying that the soldiers are butchers and child murderers. A counter demonstration in which some sixty year old bloke in a trilby starts mixing it with the bearded Muslims, getting himself arrested, and the BNP there whipping it all up. Our boys in blue in the middle trying to keep everyone apart. The media, whose protective instincts towards our brave boys are offended, railing at Muslim spokespeople. The politicians joining in condemnation. Lots of people, especially in blazers with medals, disgusted and outraged, saying "what about their fallen comrades?" A Muslim cleric saying "what about the 100,000 civilian body count in Iraq?" Journalists remonstrating "but surely you should be protesting to the government not these soldiers". And an obvious riposte: 1,500,000 people (myself amongst them) did that on February 15th 2003. It didn't make any difference then. Why should it now?
A knickerbocker glory of opinion and counter opinion.
Served on the frayed edges of national sensibility.
With a tow row row row row row row.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009


Friday, 6 March 2009


Never thought I'd ever be doing this but I have been sniffing them. Man, that's how sad my life is. They smell very strange. Like nothing I've ever smelt before. Very musty. And very warm.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009


A young friend of mine is about to go to prison. He has yet to be sentenced but it isn't looking good. The sentencing guidelines are clear: 2 years. A two stretch. That, I think, is the correct terminology. He asks me for advice on how to survive it. How am I to know? He is understandably distressed, and especially anxious about his first night banged up. I eschew advice there and then but write a letter. I'm not sure I am going to send it.

Dear Jimmy (name changed to protect the guilty)

In your coming experience there is the same capacity for happiness as in any other. Your imprisonment will only be complete with your own imprisonment of your own mind. Stand aside from where you prefer to be and here you are, right here in the perfect place. You will need to be some kind of warrior against the enemy of your own mind to do that, believe me, but, also believe me, it is possible.
Time exists in your mind. It is possible to dwell through time never being in the time. Without being inside, many ,many of us are just doing time, wishing somehow we were somewhere or someone else. It is up to you. Punishment is obvious and crude when your mind dwells on what it hasn't got. There is no punishment when the mind dwells in what it has. In that sense you can never be anything but a free man, to the extent that you choose your own freedom.
You will have plenty of time for watching. Watch your thoughts.
People you meet where you are going have been harshly judged. There is another view. Taking the time to do so, they are understandable. Leaving aside the harsh judgement they are no different from you or I. If we actually were in their shoes fully, we'd do no different than them.
Give up wanting anything.
Be there.
You will then be free.

I've sent it now.